Downtown Bakersfield is home to Tiki-Ko, a bar with tropical and Caribbean inspirations, described as “a shady place for sunny people.” It’s been three years since business partners Sonya and Roy Scarazzo received a start-up loan from Access Plus Capital and now with business booming, they look forward to expanding their business with a second loan.
“Access Plus Capital helped us with everything. Sonya said. “Since we had working capital in the first year of our business, we were able to spend the money on what we needed. Without the first loan, we wouldn’t have money for furnishings, lamps, custom artwork and designing the interior the way we wanted to.”
Working with Access Plus Capital gave the pair the freedom to open their dream Tiki bar known for its unique island-inspired cocktails, tropical décor and souvenir drink cups.
Now Sonya and Roy are working with Access Plus Capital to take their business to the next level. With a second loan, Tiki-Ko will be able to open up the basement and have two levels, allowing more space for customers to enjoy the exotic drinks and neon lights.
It’s safe to say the basement renovation is highly anticipated by residents in Bakersfield. Every weekend there is a line outside the door and with nearly 7,000 followers on Instagram, Tiki-Ko’s customer base is only growing. Through social media, Tiki-Ko has been able to connect with other nightlife locations and potential customers across the world.
“When we first started our business, we didn’t have a lot of money to advertise,” Roy said. “Now we have a local but also national and international following of the bar. We have Tiki bars following us from other states and even other countries like London and Japan.”
Roy takes on the creative role by promoting Tiki-Ko through social media and managing the day-to-day operations. He calls Sonya the brains of the business; she made the initial business plan and found Access Plus Capital three years ago while searching for small business loans.
“A lot of people want to do things by themselves but a loan with working capital gave us the cushion we needed for our businesses within the first year,” Sonya said. “Since then we’ve stuck to what we know and made it a place we would want to go to. A place that’s not too loud with soft music and fun drinks.”
Tiki-Ko’s growing online presence, tasty drink selection and dedicated business partners allowed the location to make its mark as a local tropical watering hole. The business is scheduled to finish renovating the basement by November and Access Plus Capital looks forward to supporting Tiki-Ko throughout the process.